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tv   Reel America Apollo 10 To Sort Out The Unknowns - 1969  CSPAN  August 13, 2021 4:45pm-5:12pm EDT

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>> today, american history tv is looking a the apollo missions. in just a moment, it is a nasa film documenting apollo 10, an eight-day mission in may, 1969 to prepare for the moon landing. then, watch moonwalk one, a feature length documentary about the apollo 11 mission commissioned by nasa. and later, it's a look at apollo 12, the second manned mission to left hand on the moon. >> may, 18th, 1969. we were almost ready man had orbited the moon once. man had test flown the lunar module, the lunar landing craft in earth orbit once. but before we would commit men to a lunar landing there were still a number of things to be worked out. this was the mission of apollo 10. in the words of its commander,
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thomas stafford, to sort out all the unknowns and pave the way for a lunar landing. ♪♪ it was a veteran crew, spacecraft commander tom stafford had flown on gemini 6 and 9. lunar module pilot gene cernan had flown on gemini 9, john young had been on gemini 3 and gemini 10. they would face problems on apollo 10, problems that would be solved for apollo 11. most would be minor, but they would be solved. stafford, young, cernan. they brought to their mission enthusiasm, dedication, responsibility. even amazement. and through the means of color television they took us with them as they played their part
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in man's greatest adventure. >> we are go for a mission to the moon at this time. tom stafford reports they are go. we're coming up on the 22nd -- 20 second mark. t minus 20 seconds and counting. 17 seconds and counting. guidance internal. 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, we have ignition sequence start. engines on. 5, 4, 3, 2 -- all engines running. launch commit. liftoff. we have liftoff 29 minutes past the hour. >> what a ride. what a ride.
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>> staging lights up. >> roger. >> good ignition on the second stage. >> staging was quite a sequence. >> just like old times. it's beautiful out there. >> you guys sound ecstatic. >> man, this is the greatest job. >> apollo 10 was headed for its initial parking orbit around the earth. after the check out in orbit it was time for tli, trans lunar injection, the burn of the s 4 b engine to send apollo 10 to the moon. >> the moon is coming up. >> rocket 10, you are go for tli. s 4 b is looking as planned. >> right on. >> roger. we confirm the cut out. >> apollo 10 with a perfect burn was on its way to the moon. now the command and service
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module separated from the s 4 b and turned around to dock with the lunar module. for the first of many times, tom stafford turned on the small, high-resolution color television camera and shared with the people of earth the spectacular sights of outer space. apollo 10 took along all those who had made and were making the conquest of the moon a reality. >> charlie, we can't be more than about 550. >> roger. >> it's looking real stable. we show you closing in. >> roger. >> be docked in a second, i hope. >> roger. >> 10 to houston. you are looking good.
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we can see the markings. with the rendezvous, and it looks like you are connecting. >> thrusters, we haven't fired yet. >> roger. >> snap, snap, and we're there. got two grays. >> roger. >> docked, charlie. >> team, we can read the numbers on the right docking window. >> during the docking, apollo 10 encountered its first problem. >> for apollo, it had to be fixed. it would be and that is when we would get our first pictures of earth. >> charily, it is so hard to
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describe. you can go right past alaska and you can see the polar cap. it's incredible. >> we see it all here, gene. the colors are really beautiful. >> that's great. and the blackest black that you ever could conceive is the setting for all of this. >> right. >> so stafford, young and cernan began their coast away from earth, their speed continually dropping as the arms of earth's gravity tried to pull them back. to control the temperature of the space craft, they performed a slow, steady rotation. >> shortly we'll soon be about 55,000 miles out. >> that's right. >> that sounds like a long way from home, gentlemen. >> and the call sign charlie it was time to check the space craft, the command module, the
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lunar module, it was time for conversation and time to show the people at home what space travel is like. >> you have your choice, if you don't like things right side up, you can go upside down. >> i just do whatever he says. >> roger. down here we have one in each direction. >> it's the only way to fly. >> farther and farther from earth, stafford, young and cernan flew on their wingless flight, now off the rotating home planet day and night became only a progression of minutes as the spacecraft rotated at three revolutions an hour. >> we're about to finish the diagonal thing. and we're going to sack out. around 3:00 we should be around the moon. >> roger.
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>> apollo 10, it sounds like we're ready for a naval drill on the flight deck. >> here is your horoscope reading. tom stafford, you should concentrate on doing things that finishing things that you have already started. today's pace will be moderate. use this time to take inventory. john young, you will have a slow day today. this will give you time to concentrate on the work ahead. you will enjoy your surroundings and companions. >> geno, yours reads give careful thought to your working and driving habits. do something nice for your friends. >> the crew of apollo 10 was getting ready for lunar orbit, checklists gone over, clocks synchronized, computers updated. as the time for the lunar orbit insertion burn neared, the men in mission control concentrated
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on their displays. >> houston to apollo 10, just tried looking out of the hatch as far as i can out of the top hatch window and still can't see the moon. we'll take your word that it's there. >> it's there plus 60 miles. >> i'll guarantee you on that. >> apollo 10, two minutes. everybody here says god sped. -- speed. >> okay we'll see everybody in orbit. >> okay. we'll see everybody on the other side of orbit. >> los, loss of signal. the turn to place the spacecraft into lunar orbit would take place behind the moon, out of contact with earth. later, a second burn in the second orbit would be circular. the flight controllers waited for aos, acquisition of signal. >> we have aos. >> hello, apollo 10, houston, over. >> roger, houston. apollo 10, you can tell the
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world that we have arrived. >> how is the view, 10? >> charlie, it might sound corny, but the view is really out of this world. >> for the second time, three americans orbited the moon. the electronic senses of mis-spin, the man space flight network followed their flight, measuring precisely their orbital path. information vital to first manned landing. on the first orbit, the crew turned the tv camera on the scarred lunar landscape. >> see the sea of crisis up here that's the first real thing i'm positive of that i've seen that i recognize. boy, it really stands out. >> stafford, young, cernan, a quarter of a million miles from earth, 60 miles above our desolate satellite.
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>> boy, this is really a rugged planet. >> also, look at some of the mountains we can see. that's going to be a real kick tomorrow down at 50,000 feet, over. >> we copy that. hello, houston, apollo 10, we've got a beautiful view of the earth here. but it is absolutely fantastic. ♪ >> now it was time for gene cernan to check out snoopy to check out the next day's decent. his evaluation --
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>> firstly, i'm very happy with the fella and i mope we can give you as good of a report tomorrow. you watch snoopy well tonight and make it sleep good and we'll take him out for a walk and let him stretch his legs in the morning. >> okay. >> the neck at the day he and cernan were in the lunar module. they checked out snoopy for the last time. one of the items they check out was the lunar tunnel to make sure that the hatches did not leak. >> as i say again we cannot get the tunnel to vent, over. >> i understand, tunnel will not vent. >> this was a real problem. the vent pipe seemed to be clogged, but the hash integrity was checked. the inability to reduce pressure caused a rotation between the
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two spacecraft. not enough to endanger undocking but for apollo 11 it would be fixed. >> okay charlie brown and snoop three minutes going over the hill. you're go for undocking and we'll see you around the other side. >> roger. >> roger. >> the undocking took place behind the moon. ♪ when contact was re-established, charlie and snoopy were ready for decent. ready for the separation maneuver prior to descent. the word from john young and charlie brown was -- >> you never know how big this thing gets when there ain't nobody in here but one guy. >> never know how small it looks when you're as far away as we
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are. >> if you could turn on the radar transponder. >> okay, my transponder is on. transponder is on and the test switch is in operate. >> i should be getting a radar signal here and i sure don't. >> an electronic piece in the radar equipment in the command module was not functioning, and without it there would be no orbit decent in the lunar module. in mission control and in the two spacecraft switch positions and procedures were rechecked, for the descent and subsequent rendevous were the heart of the apollo mission. from mission control one last ditch instruction was sent up. >> roger, how about trying to recycle the power switch charlie brown.
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>> in the command module, young turned the switch off and back on again. >> that did it, you guys. it's on again. >> that did it, you guys, it's on. >> we got signal! what do you know about that? a little thing, a stick switch, but for apollo 11 it would be corrected. >> okay, jose', say adios. we'll see you in about six hours. >> all right. have a good time while we're gone. >> don't get lonesome out there, john. >> and don't accept any cei updates. ♪♪ >> charlie brown, houston, 45 seconds to aos, you're still go finish doi. >> doi, decent orbit insertion would come about 180 degrees for
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from landing site two. the primary landing site for apollo 11. according to the inextricable laws of celestial mechanic, this burn of the lunar module descent engine would put staff forward, cernan and snoopy in sight. >> they're down there moving rocks, talking about the bolders right now. >> eight miles above the surface, communications problem, contact with snoopy was reestablished with charlie brown. >> this is snoopy. >> go ahead. . >> weaving your way up the
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freeway. >> fantastic, charlie, fantastic. fantastic, really. >> we just can't believe what we're seeing, i'll tell you, >> then, one of the key aspects, tom stafford describing the landing site for apollo 11. >> okay, the approach here looks smoother. than some of the orbital photos
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show, it is still estimated 25% to 30% semi clear. so if they have enough hoover time at least from what we could see from 50,000 feet, it should not be a problem. if you come down in the wrong area and don't have the hoovers on you're going to have to shove off. >> now it was time to begin the rendezvous. on this first low orbit, they would make the initial burn, to put snoopy and charlie brown in the proper phase relationship for the coming maneuvers. >> okay, we're burning, john, we're burning. >> snoopy was now ready for the rend say -- rendezvous secrets horizon day view sequence. once more they rounded the battered face of the mown. moon. >> we just saw earth rise and it has to be magnificent.
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>> i don't know how the big man would see things, but if his view is better than hours it has to be fantastic. >> before the actual rendezvous burns took place, the lunar modules ascent stage would have to be separated from the descent stage. but during the separation something went wrong. snoopy began to roll rapidly. >> get out of there, that last -- >> houston, we're close to a lock. >> okay. something went wild there. on that staging. we're all set, didn't lock it, we're going to go ahead. >> they got it -- they had a wild gyration, but they got it under control. >> it was an unexpected system malfunction, they quickly had it under control. in fact tom stafford and gene cernan were never in any danger,
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but for a few seconds, they didn't know that. for apollo 11 that would be corrected. now for the next sequence it came step by step. it was hold hat for the veteran crew, in geminied that had flown five rendezvouses. cernan four and young three, so they road up to join charlie brown. >> okay, you're into about five feet, looking beautiful. >> hello houston, snoopy and charlie brown are hugging each other. >> roger that. we heard them down here. >> but the day is not over yet. they still had to prepare the command module. ascent stage and command module for their final separation. >> we're all back in the command module, the tunnel is all locks
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-- locked up and we're standing by here for when you give us the word. >> we can go ahead and separate now, charlie brown. >> okay. houston, we'll give you a countdown. we're all set to go for seven. you'll hear a five count. five, four, three, two, one, fire. >> when he leaves, he leaves. went right into the sun, babe, right into the sun. >> like tom said, there's a lot of people who did a good job, and i will tell you with these vehicles so far, that little snoopy was a real winner. >> we concur. >> that big charlie brown is no slouch, either. >> the next day, apollo 10 stayed in orbit around the moon. the orbital deviations were being determined with greaternd greater precision. on board there was more photography , more landmark
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cracking and navigation, with each revolution the figures were being pinned down closer and closer in preparation for the arrival of apollo 11. >> this is a very interesting looking things that sort of look like volcanos. there is one on the backside that if it was in a different setting you would have called it mt. fujiyama. >> i saw. >> but now it is time to head home to earth. transearth injection. the one burn of the mission that absolutely had to work. the burn that would push apollo 10 out of its lunar orbit. >> everything looks good for tei.
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>> roger. we are a go here, and we will see you on the way home. >> again, this most pivotal of all maneuvers would take place behind the moon cut off from earthly contact. >> roger, houston. we returning to the earth, over. >> glad to have you on the way back home, 10. >> for the last time, apollo 10 watched the sapphire called earth rise over a stark lunar horizon. and as they had throughout the mission, stafford, young and cernan shared with us the sights and feelings of their voyage through color television. >> you are climbing straight up. >> you're going about 6,000 feet per second.
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♪ >> as the crew of apollo 10 hurdled earthward, they decided to perform one more test, a test not in the original on theives of the -- not in the original objectives of the mission but a test that had baffled space engineers for years. >> somebody finally came up with the idea of using a razor and brushless shaving cream. >> that is amazing 10. absolutely, that is what the space age does for you. >> i will tell you, charlie, that is one of the most refreshing things that has happened in the last couple of days. that was really great. >> you guys really look good. ♪♪ >> down from the moon toward the coast of earth, apollo 10 sped on the incandescent path towards
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it's dawn rendezvous at sea. >> problems had been met, faced and solved for that was the mission of apollo 10 to sort out the unknowns and pave the way. but as the men of apollo 10 were reunited with their family and friends, attention was already turning elsewhere. apollo 11 had been rolled out to its launchpad even before apollo 10 had entered orbit to the about the moon, and now it stood pointed toward a distant lunar sea. >> how much we progress to the future is left to your imagination, but if we harness our energies and keep the prospectus right, the goals are unlimited.
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♪ ♪♪ . a million mornings forgotten by the mind of man. dawn remembers again the magic


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